College of Teaching to have three year ‘incubation’

It will take three years for a proposed College of Teaching to get up to full capacity after its initial launch, the team behind the plans has said.

The group backing the plans has been given two consultants by Accenture to work on a business plan pro bono. They began work in July and will continue to work until next month.

It is expected a clearer idea of the money required to set up the college will be available early next year and a timeline to which it could work will be set out.

The latest idea for a College of Teaching – an independent professional body for teachers – was recognised as an important step for the profession by the Commons education select committee in May 2012.

Since September 2012, the Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) has been developing the college, including a “blueprint” put forward in February this year (pictured below).


It would be a member-driven organisation with voluntary membership and would seek to support teachers.

Unlike the ill-fated General Teaching Council, established by the last Labour government but abolished when the coalition came to power in 2010, it would have no role in disciplinary matters. Nor would it represent teachers on issues such as pay and conditions.

Chris Pope, co-director of PTI, said: “We are very fortunate that Accenture have come in a philanthropic nature and they are effectively giving us pro-bono work. Two of their consultants are being seconded to us until December and they will build our business plan which will set out how this is going to work.

“What has been clear is that there is a need to get the word out there. We do need to raise some money and we are talking to people about this, although I am not yet in a position to say who.

“This is not going to have a ‘hard-launch’ from day one. There will likely be a three-year incubation period.

“We have been talking to the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards in the US, which is effectively a teacher-led standards body. They started from scratch and it took them six years to get to a complete point.

“We believe, based on what we are thinking here and what is already available, it would take us half that time.”

So far 1,200 teachers and headteachers have responded to an online survey about the proposals and unions such as NAHT, NASUWT, ASCL and Voice have made comments for the consultation.

David Weston, chief executive of the Teacher Development Trust (TDT), said: “We campaign for every teacher to have access to the sorts of powerful professional development that help children succeed and teachers thrive, so we feel this member-led college could be another important ally in this campaign.

“The great thing about the vision set
out in the blueprint is an independent, voluntary body with no heavy regulatory role, unlike the rather bureaucratic General Teaching Council that never had widespread support.

“Building on and working alongside the great work of our teaching unions, this new college would focus on aspirational, professional matters, helping to recognise, accredit and share the excellence and knowledge that is so common in our profession.

“The TDT has been excited to work with all of our schools as well as the current chartered College of Teachers, the PTI
and many others to prepare a real grass-roots campaign to make sure that it is
the teacher’s voice that is the strongest influence in the set-up of a new, modern body.

“We’re looking forward to developing and growing the new #ClaimYourCollege campaign to help the broad push to set up this new body. Please come and join the conversation.”


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